Pre-History of Upper Hale

The earliest traces of occupation are on Bricksbury Hill in Upper Hale and its associated plateau, numerous Mesolithic chipping floors occur in this area.  The people of this age were nomadic hunters with a distinctive flint working technique, a fairly representative collection of what can be seen in Farnham Museum.

With the passing o the Mesolithic age, Neolithic farmers settled this same area.  Many flint impliments of this age have been recovered from the rifle range just below the earthworks called Caesars Camp.

The Bronze age is sparely represented with a series of burial mounds, not yet proved by excavation, although I have myself recovered one arrow head of the period from the area.

The Iron Age is the age that has left the best monument, the so-called Caesars Camp, incorrectly named by the cartographers and historians of the 18th century who attributed to the Romans any large earthworks of whose origin they were not very certain.  However this magnificently constructed earthwork with its double ditches and in places triple banking was obviously the work of the local Iron Age population and must have taken many years to construct.  It was probably not inhabited most of the time, but used as a refuge in times of trouble, such as inter-tribal wars by the farmers of the area and was large enough to house the population, much as people used air raid shelters during the last war.

Although there is no evidence of any Roman occupation of the site it is probably that they were responsible for its eventual abandonment.  Their policy was to encourage the hill tribes to become valley dwellers, and particularly town dwellers, where they could be more easily kept in check, and local chieftains were handsomely bribed or rewarded to bring their tribes away from such sites.

With the abandonment of the site it would appear that no permanent occupation of the area took place until the late 18th century.

Keith W Varney 

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